During a recent trip to Newfoundland, we visited Cape Spear – a hauntingly beautiful spot on the most easterly point of North America.
As I stood high up on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, I was in awe of the power and beauty. It was a cold summer afternoon, the sun hidden by large grey clouds. The brisk ocean breeze carried just a hint of wetness. And as I stood at the base of the lonely lighthouse, lulled by the rhythmic sound of the waves moving across the rocks and the seagulls in the distance calling out to each other, I experienced a sense of peace and stillness. It was only when I walked along the cliff edge footpaths, closer to the ocean and watched the thunderous waves crash against the rocks that I felt the power and danger of the sea. It was both mesmerizing and terrifying.
When we finally made our way back to the car, I saw the signs warning of the danger that I had felt standing near the raging sea.
So what happens when a major urban street is closed for road construction and repair? The neighbours come out to play! This past Sunday, our good friends R & K invited us to the Queen’s Banquet,a street picnic on Queen (a street typically occupied by cars careening down the hill). According to the architects in the crowd, this was a perfect example of tactical urbanism, (projects that aim to make a part of the city more enjoyable or more lively for the residents).
Thanks R & K and the Queen St. gang for a lovely evening.
Local artists in the city have created a number of humorous road signs as part of an outdoor art project. I love these two!
This first sign, “Duck” is by a friend, Hitoko Okada, a fashion artist. In this piece, she uses Kaomoji, the Japanese smileys and emoticons. Hitoko describes that by pairing “duck” on a caution sign, it is a “humorous traffic warning for overhead hazards like falling glass from poorly constructed condos” and other poorly constructed projects. “In general a warning for oncoming hazards on life’s unpredictable path when the city and corporation keep passing up the response-ability.” For more on Hitoko’s art, visit her website, Hitokoo.com.
The second sign is by Matthieu Leger and is a commentary on the 21st century “obsession with disseminating one’s location and circumstances.”
A perfect spot for an escape. We were on a small boat lazily moving along the estuary outside of Tamarindo, Costa Rica, when I spotted this man sitting quietly among the mangroves. I was captivated and wonder about his story each time I look at this photo.
For more on this week’s photo challenge, visit the Daily Post.
The new spring growth of blue flowers contrasts with the old dried growth from last summer. Although the early spring flowers are blooming, Mother Nature is having a hard time letting go of winter temperatures here in Southern Ontario.
She waited patiently, standing on the concrete floor, her back pressed against the cool tiled wall. People were arriving down the escalator and lining up along the tracks. Several minutes passed before the train arrived. She scanned the passengers exiting from the doors of the subway car until she finally found him. Today he wore a dark grey suit. His navy blue tie with a faint blue stripe lay flat against his crisp white shirt. A worn leather bag was slung across his body. She focused on his face and smiled. He looked healthy. She watched as he made his way among the crowd toward the escalator and then watched him move confidently on to the first stair, his back held straight, his head tilted up taking in the people and space before him. When he eventually disappeared from her view, she gathered her bags and slowly and carefully made her way towards the escalator, her eyes fixed on the ground, carefully avoiding accidentally brushing up against any of the people waiting to catch the next train.
Each week day she returned to the same spot, waiting to catch a brief glimpse of him. She had maintained this ritual for three years. In all that time, she had not once approached him, she simply watched. Every time she saw him, her heart swelled with momentary joy and as he disappeared at the top among the throngs of people, the overwhelming despair shoved joy out and reclaimed her heart. She returned each weekday so that she could experience that momentary lightness. The weekends and holidays without him were overwhelmingly dark.
He looked for her again today but he didn’t see her. It had been three days since he last saw her standing silently against the wall watching for him. She had been there every morning at his stop for the past three years. When he first saw her there he had tried to approach her, to talk to her but she had cowered against the wall, frightened and small. On other occasions, she ran away before he reached her. His repeated attempts to somehow connect with her only served to frighten her more and create a greater distance between them. After a while, he stopped trying to impose his need for her and accepted that all she could tolerate was the brief connection of shared space across the subway platform. The anger had long ago dissipated, replaced with a heart breaking sadness for all that he had lost, that they had both lost.
Her repeated absence from the spot where he expected to see her each morning shattered him in a way that he didn’t think was still possible. It was finally on the fifth day of her absence that he received the call confirming what he already knew, what he had known for the past three years. She was gone and would never return.
I’ve started a creative writing course and this is my submission for my first assignment. Let me know your thoughts – any and all constructive feedback is welcome. 🙂
Even monkeys need a little help to get across the road. A group of school children raised money to make rope bridges for the monkeys so that they could get safely across the roads in the Manuel Antonio beach area and the town of Quespos in Costa Rica. The rope bridges sharply contrast to the bridges that span the Tiber River in Rome.
Incredibly, this bridge, built in 134 AD and has stood the ravages of war, floods, and time. It’s a beautiful bridge with a gruesome history. For centuries, the bridge was used to expose the bodies of those people who were executed. Currently, the bridge is only used for pedestrian traffic. It sits directly across from the Castel Sant’Angelo, a fortress historically used by the Popes and their families.
The Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, built in the early 1900’s sits just down the river from the Ponte Sant’Angelo.